Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Egypt Releases Suspects Linked to ‘Turkish Cell’

Egypt Releases Suspects Linked to ‘Turkish Cell’

Friday, 17 January, 2020 - 07:15
Egyptian police stand guard at Cairo’s Tahrir Square. (AP)
Cairo - Walid Abdul Rahman

Egypt’s public prosecutor’s office said on Thursday it had ordered the release of five people over their formation of an “electronic cell”, backed by Ankara, aimed at circulating false and negative information in order to harm Egypt.

Two Turks were to be handed over to the Egyptian embassy and deported after questioning, while three Egyptians were to be released on a 10,000 Egyptian pound ($630) bail, the prosecutor said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Turkey had summoned Egypt’s charge d’affaires to deliver a protest about the raid and detentions.

Egypt in turn summoned Turkey’s charge d’affaires, Egyptian media reported on Thursday.

Egyptian investigations found that the suspects had formed an online portal affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in order to publish negative reports that include fabricate and false claims about the political, economic, security and rights affairs in Egypt.

The Brotherhood is banned as a terrorist group in Egypt.

The Egyptian foreign ministry rejected Turkey’s official complaints over the arrest, asserting that the cell was formed under the guise of a company that was formed by Brotherhood members with Ankara’s backing.

The suspects worked at Turkey’s Anadolu Turkish state-owned news agency.

Egypt’s State Information Service, which accredits foreign media, said Anadolu had no legal status in the country since 2013. It cited its violations in wake of the June 30 revolution.

Egypt's Interior Ministry said it targeted the news agency as part of its “efforts to expose the plots of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood and the countries supporting it.” It accused Anadolu of spreading false news about Egypt.

Editor Picks